I once carried longing
in graphite on a long forest road
off and down
into a stand of Aspen
where the leaves
applauded with the sun
like those who win at war

laid it into a hole
and covered it with ground
and marked that small place
with a circle of pebbles

I thought years later I'd
read into that garden
a story of water, a second
kiss, a return after years
of shedding and war
the victory of peace
not the quiet of vanishing fires
or sunrises outside the walls
of blasted cities